The Perspective 
Monday, 09 July 2007
The writer is president of Summit Research Associates Inc.
 
The kiosk industry is booming, especially in the retail sector. When digital photography kiosks are included in the count of retail kiosks, fully 50 percent of all kiosks fall into this category.
 
The key to successful kiosk deployments is location, location, location. A successful placement relies on a true understanding of shopper habits. Often deployers feel that they have placed a kiosk in the best possible location but discover that usage is far lower than expected. To get some idea why this happens, we will take a look at one of the fast-growing venues for kiosks, supermarkets.
 
Research was conducted at grocery stores in the western United States by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. They concentrated on how shoppers navigate stores with their carts. Their findings should be considered when planning future kiosk deployments in these types of venues.
 
Shoppers do not weave up and down each aisle as previously thought. They zigzag to specific aisles sometimes avoiding whole areas of a store. For kiosk deployments, end caps have proven to be some of the best locations. More people see products displayed at each end of an aisle than anywhere else in a store.
 
Shoppers spend less time in the aisles than assumed; instead they stick to the perimeter of the store, using it as the main road with quick side trips to the aisles they need. As a result, products displayed at the ends of the aisles near the perimeter are vital for luring the shoppers in.
 
They also zip in and out of the aisles. Once they enter an aisle, shoppers rarely make it to the other end. As a result, products located in the center of an aisle are frequently ignored.
  
A good example validating this recommendation was found at Home Depot in a pilot project they conducted at 15 stores along the East Coast. The kiosk was not only placed in the middle of a long aisle, but it was located in a niche — set in from the aisle by three or four feet so that it was not visible from either end. People could not find the kiosk. And, even worse, there was no signage on the aisle to draw the shoppers’ attention to it.
 
Just like U.S. drivers, shoppers like to enter a store on the right or turn right as soon as they enter the store. Then shoppers prefer to shop in a counterclockwise direction. A key finding was that shoppers who enter on the left spend less time and money shopping.
 
The highly successful Giant Super Food Store kiosks, especially the flagship concept store in Camp Hill, Pa., is an excellent example of a project that has followed this advice. The more-than 91,000-square-foot store has 25 kiosks, all situated around the periphery. Customer usage and the number of transactions continues to grow each month.
Posted by: Francie Mendelsohn AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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